How to Make Holiday Gift Tags Out of Discarded Art

Reader Contribution by Sarah Hart Morgan
1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

I have a lot of discarded art papers lying around. Working with ink as a medium can be a beautiful and unpredictable practice and not every work I create is good. I’ve had a large stack of work lying around my studio waiting for me to put them to use in some way. Last week, while wrapping my Christmas presents the PERFECT idea struck!

I love to get creative with my wrapping – it adds an extra layer of beauty to the process of gift giving and the receiver always appreciates it, I think. I love creating my own gift tags. I typically use blank business card stock, the kind you can get at any office supply store that come ready to print at home. They have perforated edges and are so easy to get crafty with. For Christmas, I have a few Christmas themed stamps that I hand stamp the business card with (Use your homemade inks for this process too!) and sometimes I print them off the computer using templates from  

But this year is by far my favorite! It dawned on me that I have large hole punches lying around from previous projects. One is a large circle, the other is a large punch that punches three different size tags at the same time. You can pick these up at any craft store- be sure to check their website for a coupon!  I positioned the punches around the discarded art, finding blends of color and compositions I liked and punched. That was it! I used another small hole punch and tied kitchen cotton thread to each. In under an hour I had way more tags than I even needed for this year’s Christmas wrapping so I’ll have extras to use when wrapping products for my shop.

Don’t have fancy hole punches? Not to worry! Just cut up your paper using any shape you like. Easy shapes like rectangles, squares, circles. Use jar tops, mug bottoms, anything lying around the house that you can turn into a template and then cut with a pair of scissors. Use cotton thread, embroidery thread, twine, yarn, etc. to tie to your packages for a unique color palette that fits your style. 

Another option that I have done in years past is to get a box of the manila inventory tags from an office supply store. You can usually get 50 or more in a package for just a few dollars. I have tea dyed them for a vintage look. You can easily do the same or use your homemade inks to dye the whole tag, dip the bottoms in the ink for an ombre effect or paint directly on the tags. The possibilities are endless!

This is an easy and fast project to do with the kids too during their winter break.  Let me know how your crafty session goes- I’d love to hear.

Sarah Hart Morganis an artist, photographer and author ofForrest + Thyme Apothecary: simple skin care formulas you can make uniquely your own. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley, where she works with foraged plants in her skincare and apothecary products, camera-less photography, using plants as a developing agent in film photography, and creating natural inks for painting. Connect with Sarah onher website, Instagram, FacebookandPinterest. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.